Phototherapy for Psoriasis
Phototherapy is a treatment for psoriasis that uses light to treat the skin. It can be used to either treat mild cases or to control more severe cases. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, inflamed patches of skin covered with silvery scales. There are many different treatments for this skin condition, but phototherapy can be one of the most effective. In this post, we will discuss what phototherapy is, what psoriasis is, and how phototherapy can be used to treat psoriasis.
What Is Psoriasis?
It is a chronic condition that often comes and goes in cycles.
There are many different types, but the most common type is plaque psoriasis. It typically appears as red, inflamed patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
It can occur on any part of the body, but it is most commonly found on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. Symptoms may be mild for a few weeks or months and then flare up for a few days or weeks.
How Phototherapy Works
It works by slowing down the growth of skin cells. Skin cells grow rapidly in people with psoriasis, which leads to the buildup of patches on the skin.
Types of Phototherapy
There are two types of phototherapy: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA is the most common type of therapy. UVB is less common, but it is more effective in treating psoriasis.
Phototherapy Ultraviolet A
Ultraviolet A (UVA) uses an artificial light source to emit ultraviolet A rays. The light is placed close to the skin, and the patient is exposed to the light for a set period of time.
Phototherapy Ultraviolet B
UVB has two types:
- Broadband UVB (BB-UVB)
- Narrowband UVB (NB-UVB)
BB-UVB is the most common type of UVB phototherapy. It uses a light source that emits a range of ultraviolet B wavelengths. NB-UVB is a newer type of UVB therapy. It uses a light source that emits a narrower range of ultraviolet B wavelengths.
How Phototherapy Is Used to Treat Psoriasis
It can be used to treat mild cases or to control more severe cases. It is often used in combination with other treatments, such as topical medications or systemic medications.
Topical medications are applied to the skin, and they include corticosteroids, calcipotriene, and tazarotene. Systemic medications are taken by mouth or injected, and they include methotrexate, cyclosporine, and acitretin.
Phototherapy is usually given two to three times a week for a few weeks or months. The length of time that you will need the treatment will depend on the severity of your skin condition and how well you respond. Most people will need to use phototherapy for at least two to three months before they see a significant improvement in their symptoms.
This treatment can be done either in a hospital or with at home devices.
When to Use Phototherapy
It should be used when the psoriasis is active and the symptoms are severe. Phototherapy can be used either as a standalone treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as topical steroids or oral medications.
Phototherapy is a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis. It can be used to treat mild cases or to control more severe cases. However, there are some side effects. The most common side effect is skin irritation.
Other potential side effects include:
- Dry skin
People with psoriasis are also at an increased risk for developing eye problems, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, it is important to wear sunglasses and protective eyewear when you are exposed to ultraviolet light.
If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop the treatment and contact your doctor.
Have you ever used phototherapy for Psoriasis? Let us know in the comments below! If you have any questions about phototherapy or psoriasis in general, feel free to ask them in the comments below as well!